Test Lab seeks saviour role

Australian usability consultants Performance Technologies Group (PTG) has launched a new facility to test e-commerce Web sites, software applications and multimedia CDs which could potentially save business millions.

PTG formed a joint venture with software testing consultants IV&V Australia to establish the Test Lab, which opened in Sydney this month.

Test Lab manager and PTG director Malcolm Raymond did not disclose the cost of the new facility but said it provides systematic, independent testing services in a fast-turnaround environment. "It's easy for developers of Web sites and interactive multimedia to get too close to their work or run out of time to do exhaustive tests; by outsourcing testing you let your developers get on with programming and solution development," Raymond said.

He cited UK online fashion shop Boo.com which collapsed at a cost of $A200 million as an example of poor Web testing and design.

"Very little about Boo actually worked. On the day of its launch it crashed browsers and choked bandwidth in the 18 different countries where it was showcased. Even the fulfilment order processes didn't work," Raymond said.

The new lab offers a number of standard and customised testing packages which are undertaken by staff who combine automated test tools and manual testing techniques. The basic test packages normally run for one to five days while more customised testing starts at five days including time for client planning meetings and daily reports on results.

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